Brady Puckett has been my roommate back in Nashville over the duration of our freshman year so let me give you some insight into what I’ve noticed about him since I am around the guy 24/7.
First of all, he’s an average NBA 2K player at best. We play Xbox probably way more than we should, but you can trust me when I tell you Brady will never be better than me in any video game ever, especially NBA 2K15. Secondly and more importantly, never in my eighteen years of life have I ever met someone with such constant, inexplicable energy at all hours of the day. Whether it’s three in the morning or four in the afternoon, it doesn’t matter. Brady is non-stop bouncing off the walls.
It’s safe to say Brady can be a loose cannon off the field from time to time, but when he takes the mound and locks into the game he’s a completely different animal. Yesterday, he was great. He had command of the game from start to finish, going the full nine innings and picking up a monumental win for us. Brady Puckett, the goofiest dude I have ever encountered, was a man on a mission on the hill and it was awesome to see.
Just as we have done for each of our previous games in this tournament, we stuck by our game plan. North Florida has made their living this year off of smashing the ball all over the park and yesterday we made them play small ball. One of the most telling points in the game came when UNF put two on with no one out in the bottom of the seventh and their First Team All-ASun designated hitter came to the plate. Down one run, North Florida tried to move their runners into scoring position, but their bunt attempt led to Brady getting the lead runner out at third. The next batter came up and hit into a 5-4-3 double play, a complete game changer.
Those consecutive plays in the seventh seemed to deflate any spark UNF may have had and once again defense, pitching and situational hitting proved to guide us to victory.
We’re one win away from accomplishing something that hasn’t been done at Lipscomb in seven years. Two weeks ago we were in the dugout before practice, and Hoss was telling a few of us about being on that 2008 championship team. He told us it was something he’ll never forget for the rest of his life, that the feeling of it all was indescribable.
We want that feeling. We want it more than anything in the world right now, and rest assured we will be ready to go Saturday.
Yes, tomorrow will be the most significant day for our team to date, but don’t expect any different behavior from us. Sure, there’s a lot riding on the game, but we love every second of it. You’ll still see Johnny capping of his doubles with his signature “pencil sharpener” celebration. Adam and I will definitely still vibe to the pre-game music they play at the stadium (which has been nothing short of impeccable by the way). And I can guarantee you someone cracks a joke about Zig missing team stretch, like he “accidentally” does almost every day. Tomorrow the stakes are going to be even higher, but that doesn't mean we’re going to change what we do. We’re just having fun with it!
Time to raise a banner. Time to win a ring. Time to claim a championship. It’s all one game away.
Side Note: Brady threw a fit when I showed him the opening paragraph of this piece, slandering his 2K skills. And since we played a game on Xbox last night, and I lost, I am obligated to say that Brady is actually very good at video games and my prior statements are only somewhat true.